Turnitin

ECMP 355 Yina Shin and Kaylee Trombley-Healey

What is the tool?

Turnitin is an ever-growing originality detection and plagiarism prevention service. Turnitin is used by over 24 million students, 1.6 million educators at 10,000 institutions including colleges, Universities, and High Schools worldwide. As well, Turnitin has partnered

Turnitin encourages good work practices when citing and using an outside source in your writing.

Turnitin is not a plagiarism detector, this is a misconception. Turnitin uses its vast and growing database of submitted essays and web content to show similarities and matches. Instead, Turnitin stresses that it is up to the educator or student to determine whether or not the similarity in an essay is a problem. Rather, Turnitin is a tool to help educators make better informed decisions about students’ works, whether that be about corrections, instruction or taking official action. Information researched from Turnitin’s Blog: http://turnitin.com/en_us/resources/blog/421-general/1643-does-turnitin-detect-plagiarism

When was it started? What's the story here?

Four Berkley graduate students. The primary founder was John Barrie. He wanted to engage the students in his courses, while also answering their questions: “What does an A grade paper look like?” And “What did I need to write?” This led to Barrie’s creation of a website, similar to Turnitin, where students would submit an assigned essay— which showed up anonymously— and were then assigned to review and provide feedback for two other essays. This was the beginning of the Peer Review feature of Turnitin. His students loved it. Not only were they receiving a graded essay back, but they also received pages of legible, constructive feedback from their peers. In a 2010 interview with Victor Rivera, it was noted that Barrie’s greatest fear was that with a vast amount of easily accessible knowledge, students would just copy and paste the information. Which, he found out, they were as he developed a program to detect similarities in text; he found that 30% of students in his courses had plagiarized. As such, he collaborated with his friends to develop this technology, and Turnitin came to be.


ECMP355 Turnitin Video

How does it work?

Turnitin is licensed on an annual basis by institutions that are encouraged to explain student use of the tool to the student. Educators register their class, and set up an assignment in the Turnitin Service. Turnitin has three main services that it offers: Similarity or Originality Checking, Online Grading, and Peer Review.

Similarity or Originality Checking appears as a percentage in the top right corner of a previewed submitted work. By clicking the Originality Tab, students and Educators are shown the similarities Turnitin’s sources found, what those sources were, and the percent amount of how similar the students’ text and the other sources’ were. This is where the misconception that Turnitin automatically detects plagiarism stem, as many of the similar sources highlighted are of quotes. Swap quotes for cut and pasted work, and Turnitin’s Originality checker will treat them the same. Thus, it is the educator’s call to investigate this further. For a student to successfully ‘cheat’ the Originality Checker and plagiarize, every third word in their text would have to be swapped for something else. As well, Turntitin has a tool to detect content translated from one language into English, broadening its sources.

Online Grading is the option Educators using Turnitin have to switch from using paper and written comments, to using Turnitin as their notebook. Teachers can assign essays or papers, go in and grade them afterwards, and create and attach rubrics, comments or mistakes, and grades for the students to see. This is accessed for the students through clicking on the ‘Grade’ Tab once they view their submitted assignment. As well, assignments have an open time for submission, and a due date, both of which could be shown by the Educator on a Calendar.

Peer Review similar, to Online Grading, allows educators to assign peer papers to be reviewed and receive constructive feedback. Peer review is a helpful way for students to realize what others are writing about, where they may need assistance, as well as how their own works could be revised. Peer reviews can be made anonymous.


How Might it Be Used to Support Digital Citizenship?

Turnitin is a sponsor of 'Good Digital Citizenship', one of the National Education Technology Standards, aka NETS, developed by the International Association of Educational Technology, a non-profit membership organization that provides leadership and service to advance the effective use of technology. The NETS standard for good digital citizenship encourages faculty to teach students early and often about the proper uses of information either online and/or offline, such as how to reliable sources, and give other proper credit for their works. Turnitin provides administrators, educators and students with guidelines and insight about the challenges of teaching and learning in a digital world.


How Does it Support the Curriculum? Curriculum/Professional Learning Link: Outcomes and Indicators, does it fulfill any?

Turnitin plagiarism prevention and originality checking service is recognized as the worldwide standard for preventing internet plagiarism. This also protects students' original work, which is on their database, from being used without proper citation by another person. And serves as a learning tool to help educator and students better identify and correct unintentional plagiarism. Turnitin also teaches the basic netiquette skills need to be carefully conveyed delicately from distance learning. It reports demonstrates uses of other author's words from their huge database, colour code them and indicate their source through a web-based link. Therefore, when students have not cited correctly, it can be demonstrated clearly with Turnitin.

-Over 70% of students in 2006-2007 states that they thought Turnitin had helped them to write citations more accurately; some students also state that they had never write citation before use Turnitin. Turnitin as a tool to know more and be more cautious about citations, to carry out the learning experience to memory and to have a second chance to get it right. Also over 60% of students found Turnitin is useful for thinking about appropriate paraphrasing; one of comments were 'International students are not good at paraphrasing so Turnitin is useful for students think about it.' This approach to using Turnitin is shown to be assisting students in achieving the course objective of improving use of academic writing conventions, gaining more competence in academic literacy and applying this capability successfully to a research paper.


What Are Some of the Potential Uses, and Benefits, for Turnitin in the Classroom?

-If Students are unable to attend class during on the due date for an assignment, their work can be submitted earlier, or from home.

-Teachers can promote better work habits, and mindfulness to students as they use online research for their papers.

-Educators can better judge their hunches on possible plagiarized content.

-Essays and Papers can be date stamped through their time of submission

-Turnitin has a wide variety of “White Paper’s” to give students and educators a better sense on topics such as, ‘What’s Wrong with Wikipedia,’ or ‘The Plagiarism Spectrum’ where the ten types of plagiarism are listed, how the student may plagiarize, and what the severity is based on intent.

-Not all forms of documents are accepted, but the paper may be copied and pasted, and their format will merge.

-Turnitin prevents and identifies when students may reuse previously written essays for classes

-Essays can be deleted by instructors after the course, preventing the essay from being stored, should students express disapproval.

-Turnitin also offers a service where grammar and run-on sentences are scanned for, and suggestions can be offered on a rough draft before submission

-Turnitin offers Writing Rubric examples for grades 9/10, standards for grades 6-10 and many sources to find writing grants for Secondary or Higher Education.


What are the Disadvantages in the Classroom?

-Some students may feel like educators already think they are guilty of plagiarizing if they have to post to Turnitin

-Behaviour to cheat the Turnitin system may not encourage students to avoid plagiarism at all

-Turnitin may be used, but only as a date stamp for received essays

-Not all forms of documents are accepted

-Many students feel that Turnitin is a violation of their intellectual property rights, because no specific guidelines are given on how Turnitin will store their essays.

-Students may refuse to submit essays to Turnitin, and not want to be penalized.

-Does not detect plagiarism

-It’s a service to be paid for.

-Some educators may use Turnitin, but not have significant information on how to use it.


How is it funded? Why use it if it's not free?

Turnitin is funded through their annual fee of renewal with institutions using the service. As well, in 2014, Insight Venture Partners acquired iParadigms (the creators of Turnitin) for $752 Million. iParadigms receives funding through investments from Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, and the global investment firm GIC.

Turnitin is a growing, and long used commercial plagiarism prevention tool that offers many resources for students and educators. Content is easy to accessed, and supports a variety of languages, including: English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.

With access to over 500+ member submitted content including newspapers, and other pubic resources, Turnitin presents a wide range of content for students to compare their work to. As well, Turnitin provides many resources for students to identify plagiarism in their own works through their downloadable 'White Papers.'